Maybe a year ago, I made a quickie list of five people who inspired me that I’d like to meet.
I reviewed the list earlier this week, after checking off my fourth: Mark Bittman.
I’m working on a freelance story about food and it was a great opportunity to interview one of my kitchen icons. I got off the phone giddy. Not starstruck, more in disbelief that I can get paid to pick the brain of someone I’ve admired for years.
Others on the list had been:
- Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of Wine Library TV, a wine and social media empire, and now a new media rock star — thanks to Twitter, I was part of a wine tasting panel on Wine Library TV, then I went to a multi-course wine dinner he hosted and sat across the table.
- Ben Jaffe, creative director of Preservation Hall — Ben gave me hours on the phone, telling me the story of his parents founding Preservation Hall and his journey taking over as the next generation.
- Clint Maedgen, leader of New Orleans Bingo Show and sax player in Preservation Hall — Clint hung out with me and John for a beer when Preservation Hall played New York, then patiently answered follow up questions by phone and e-mail.
Richard Russo. I’m coming for you, Russo!
Of course there are many more than five amazing, interesting people I want to meet in the world. Thanks to my Relationship Masters Academy homework, I have a spreadsheet of about 50. But I love that I’m already at about 80 percent against this list I jotted one night in bed, then largely forgot about.